We made it on schedule into Heathrow and the transfer by bus to Gatwick was incredibly smooth. We were way too early to checkin to our airport hotel which is conveniently located attached to the departures level of the North Terminal. And in spite of it being a well known hotel chain they would not hold our luggage until our room was ready. They sent us to the ‘Left Luggage’ shop in the terminal. We had to pay £15 to hold 2 suitcases for 3 hours.
Off to Crawley we went. Free tram ride to the South Terminal and then 2 stops on the train and we were in a lovely little town with lots of shops, cafes and a large mall. But where were the pubs? We looked everywhere. I’ve never had to look so hard for a pub in any UK town before. They couldn’t hide forever, though, and we found our way to The Jubilee Oak. A quick lunch and a 1/2 pint were called for. Kier got the Hawaiian Pizza, if you could call it that when the pub had no pineapple. And myself? A no-brainer...a jacket potato with baked beans and cheese. Yum! And while enjoying our lunch I began to notice a bit of a trend with the patrons of this establishment. There were very few who crossed the threshold entirely on their own steam. A few had walkers...several had canes...a couple had crutches...and one guy actually had 2 artificial legs. We felt a bit out of place, but after sitting for so long on the plane, then the bus and the train, we didn’t look quite so out of place as we limped out after lunch, having seized up. My hip bursitis and Kier’s plantar fasciitis made us fit right in.
We couldn’t get too carried away looking around Crawley because if we went 1 minute over the 3 hours for our luggage the price would rise from the outrageous £15 to a scandalous £25. Fortunately we did have time to find a sweet shop so I could stock up on liquorice and sidewalk chalk (thanks Pat for getting me hooked on it!) and then returned to Gatwick to check in to our hotel. Tonight it’s just been resting up for an early start in the morning.
Dennis seems to be slowing down now, and it appears that he won’t hit his stride until after lunch. All looks good for us to make the final leg of our trip on schedule. But gawd knows, that can change...in an instant...only time will tell.